S is for Stretch Marks: Radical Selfie Writing with GG Renee

I realized recently that I’ve been hiding behind the shield of motherhood as a way of “justifying” why I have stretch marks. I had one myomectomy (fibroid removal surgery) and two C-sections in a six-year period. My body stretched and shrunk to accommodate two perfect little girls who are both today nearly taller than me. I earned dem damn stretch marks!

Word. Yeh.

But I realized I don’t need a reason anymore. I don’t want to justify my shit, I wanna just own it!

Radical Self-Expression work is showing me how to shift my focus away from what I don’t want, over to what I want more of in my life. Stretch marks cannot bind me so damn tightly to fear that I cover myself in case what? In case someone doesn’t like it? In case I don’t look how I think I ‘should’ look? Maaan, there’s to much real shit going on in the world, and so many big dreams I’ve got for my life, that stretch marks can’t stay ‘a thing.’

So now, the stretching I choose to focus on is the type that stretches me out of the confines of my insecurities and into the privileged life of self-acceptance.

It’s basically me learning how to trust myself. And to not compare myself to anyone but my highest vision for my own life.

Now I get the privilege of wearing a bathing suit to the beach and focusing on the actual fucking beach.

Not on how I look to the people outside my body.
Not on whether my ass’s current jiggle level is closer to sexy or stank.

Not on bootie dimples, bikini line hairs, or stretch marks. But present and privileged, grateful and graceful, simply because I am me.

—-Blurred Lines. Excerpt from Radical Self-Expression Manifesto.

My lines read like un-beauty marks, they say,
and they attempt to sell me things to blur my lines,
but fuck your blur, I prefer clear vision, thanks.

And no matter how I stretch,
no matter how many flag lines I make,
I always know to return to myself,
even if that return is not evident on my body.

I practice the art of returning to myself,
without judging and condemning my lines,
and in that practice I begin seeing my lines
for what they are–

Physical sentiments from the journeys I have taken,
and my reminder of my capacity to grow.

This post is part of The Layers of Beauty Tour created by GG Renee of All the Many Layers.  Follow the tour through the blogs of 26 women exploring the complexities of womanhood and beauty from A to Z.  Click here to keep up with each post and enter to win a giveaway package of goodies for your mind, body and soul.  #LayersAtoZTour
  • All of this is so damn royal and Divine…. BOTH, simultaneously! I have to repost this On The Naked Blog Akilah. Just so much YES!

  • De’Nita Moss

    Loved this, Akilah, especially when you talk about stretching beyond the confinement of your insecurities – that’s powerful. I’m encouraged to love all of me by reading your post. I have a small frame but that’s genetics and I’m slowly growing outside of that “frame”, well at least my stomach is and I’ve been insecure about it. I’m going to love all of me, lean or not. It’s good. Thanks again! I’m also entering the Layers of Beauty Tour giveaway.

    • Yes, De’Nita! I’m glad it resonated. And yes, love your frame in all its iterations! Best of luck with the giveaway too!

  • Angela

    This is such a good reminder of how focusing on superficial things and giving them power over how we see ourselves is so counterproductive. I definitely have those same thoughts about my stretch marks when it comes to bathing suit season–hiding is unfair to ourselves. Instead, we should consider those “blemishes” as a reminder of our journey and our body’s capacity to grow. Thank you for this. #LayersAtoZTour #giveaway

    • Exactly, Angela! Thank you for stopping by. Here’s to celebrated our bodies for what they are/do, instead of judging them on appearance!

  • I love this so much, Akilah! I recently came to terms with my stretch marks and accepting them. I carried and gave birth to another life, and the lines serve as a reminder of that amazing, interesting, life-changing journey. And this post is another reminder…thank you!

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  • Danica N. Worthy

    I love this so much Akilah! One of my old ways of thinking was to body shame myself by covering up what I know call my beauty marks. It so rewarding when we find others who have shared in the struggle and choose to grow outward. Love and Blessings

    • Yes!!! I’m happy for you, Danica! I’m glad that’s an “old” way and not a “current” way for you. Thanks for stopping by and dropping your wisdom as usual, Sis!

  • Simma

    yayyy! I somehow gravitated here. I have carnival coming up and there is so much frantic around me about belly fat and belly marks I started to doubt myself for minute because I am not the carnival body type and I have a whole lotta stretch marks to prove it! I was even thinking about selling my costume to somebody … but I gots this tho! #stretchmarktunup

    • Yes, Simone! Just like that! It’s about YOU and celebrating what you want without punishing yourself for not looking like someone else. Crazy how society got through to our psyches with that shit. We gotta let it go!